More Canadians willing to share data with insurers

Poll finds greater openness to providing lifestyle-related data for lower premiums, but trust issues remain

More Canadians willing to share data with insurers

While privacy concerns surrounding lifestyle data appear to be easing among consumers seeking lower insurance premiums, there’s been a reduction of trust in insurers’ ability to safeguard that data.

That was the finding in a new report from Accenture, which drew from a survey of more than 47,000 consumers around the world.

In its latest Global Insurance Consumer Study, Accenture found around two thirds of consumers (69%) were reportedly willing to divulge significant data on their health, exercise, and driving habits if it meant getting lower prices from providers of health, life, long-term care, and disability insurance, in contrast to just three fifths (59%) who said the same in 2019.

Three fifths of consumers (59%) also said they would share significant data to get personalized services to prevent injury and loss, compared to just under half (48%) in 2019.

The report cited global health and wellness company Vitality and its parent company, Discovery, whose pioneering shared-value business model has been scaled globally to 25 markets worldwide with over to million members. The program, which encourages and rewards better health behaviour, has been adopted by leading insurers around the world.

But even as consumers show a greater willingness to provide data in exchange for personalized and higher-value services, just around one third (32%) said they place a lot of trust in their consumer to look after their data, representing an eight-percentage-point slide from 2019. That’s come as the number of cyberattacks against insurers doubled over the past two years, though successful data breaches against insurers have also declined by 42% since 2018.

“Consumers are embracing the data-for-personalized-pricing trend and want insurers to reward their efforts to improve their well-being, but it comes with a warning that trust is waning and they want to feel in control of their data,” said Kenneth Saldanha, global lead for Insurance at Accenture.

“Insurers are creating tech-driven partnerships to provide their customers with flexible, personalized insurance offerings based on behavior, but they'll need to be transparent and responsible with their customers' data for these partnerships to succeed,” Saldanha said. “To earn consumers' trust, insurers will need to show that their customers' well-being is at the core of their business.”